tv PBS News Hour PBS March 8, 2011 7:00pm-8:00pm EST
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> brown: good evening. i'm jeffrey brown. the fighting intensified in libya today as moammar qaddafi's forces attacked the opposition with rockets, tanks, and warplanes. >> ifill: and i'm gwen ifill. on the newshour tonight, we have on-the-ground reports from the capital, tripoli, and the besieged port of ras lanouf to the east. >> brown: then, back here in washington, politics editor david chalian explains the ongoing stalemate in the senate over a budget bill. >> ifill: in his second story from guatemala, ray suarez looks at the roadblocks to family planning in a religious and traditional society. >> suarez: this country has the highest fertility rate in latin america. it's a distinction it would like to shed. we'll take a look at how.
>> brown: judy woodruff examines what a cap on debit card fees would mean for consumers, banks, and retailers. >> ifill: and david brooks explores our inner lives in his new book, "the social animal." >> we're really good at talking about material things. really bad at talking about emotions, really good at stuff we can count. really bad at the deeper stuff that actually drives behavior. >> brown: that's all ahead on tonight's newshour. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> oil companies have changed my country. >> oil companies can make a difference. >> we have the chance to build the economy. >> create jobs, keep people healthy, and improve schools. >> and our communities. >> in angola chevron helps train engineers, teachers and farmers, launch child's programs. it's not just good business. >> i'm hopeful about my country's future. >> it's my country's future.
>> you can't manufacture pride, but pride builds great cars. and you'll find in the people at toyota, all across america. pacific life, power to help you succeed. bnsf railway. and the william and flora hewlett foundation, working to solve social and environmental problems at home and around the world. and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> brown: libyan forces stepped up their counter-offensive against opposition fighters today.
a barrage of firepower assaulted rebels on fronts to the east and west of the capital. we have two reports from independent television news correspondents in libya. we begin with lindsey hilsum. she's in the oil port of ras lanouf, about 400 miles east of tripoli. >> reporter: heading for the front line. with the blessing of their comrades still determined to drive out colonel qaddafi forces, this is the last rebel check point before no man's land. the rebels are making forays into that area and skirmishing further ahead. they don't seem to be making much progress. they've been here to a a couple days now. it seems like steal mate. anti-aircraft guns are their best weapons. they fire randomly hoping for a lucky shot. it doesn't stop the bombing.
at least four fell in the ras lanouf area today. we went to see a house which had been hit. mercifully no one was inside. most of the residents of ras lanouf have left. we spotted another bomber overhead. >> they are fortifying their positions. they do have a considerable force over there between land troops and the artillery, heavy artillery, rocket launchers and as you see aircraft. the rebels, on the other hand, are receiving the enforcements and are using the appropriate tactics. it's basically hit-and-run. >> reporter: libyans state tv showed pictures of colonel ka qaddafi's forces about 50 miles from where we are. the rebels were pushed back from there on sunday. captured prisoners were displayed, counted to the geneva convention.
rebels have told me that qaddafi's forces seized several wounded fighters. we also met a prisoner held by rebels in the town. we won't show his face. the rebels said he was from colonel qaddafi's tribe. he said his commanders told him foreigners were attacking ras lanouf. he thought he had just been sent there on guard duty. he was being held in a government building where some rebel army commanders were staying. >> if qaddafi, the war will end. if not, we will continue until we get to tripoli. all the libyans are with us. if we win, we'll go on to the capital. >> reporter: not much interest here in negotiations. despite today's reports of contacts between the council in benghazi and qaddafi's people. more families were leaving today heading east to relative safety. and the fighters were praying, resolute in their belief that
god and history are on their side. opposition forces said they controlled the town's square. bill neely is one of the international journalists who a has tried to get in. he filed this report from tripoli. >> reporter: this is the image colonel ka qaddafi wants to show of the rebels on their knees and in his hands. it's being broadcast over and over on libyan state television. his message to the country is that the refuse revolution is being crushed, a message rammed home on the front lines. >> yesterday we killed those in ras lanouf. tomorrow we will kill you everywhere in libya. >> reporter: we've been prevented by qaddafi's forces from reaching the town of
jawiyah pounded again for a fifth straight day. residents claiming tanks and aircraft were used and that many more people have been killed. it's the only time in the west of libya held by rebels, but it's buckling. the red carpet is out at this central tripoli hotel because colonel qaddafi is due here shortly. to send out a message that is expected to be as defiant as ever. al qaeda is behind the violence. only a hundred or so people have died, and the rebels will be crushed. like the desert wind, violence is lashing civilians in libya. the exodus and the dead adding up to a colossal tragedy. over which qaddafi still presides. he insists his response to protests and revolt remains restrained and reasonable. >> brown: in a phone conversation, president obama and british prime minister david cameron reiterated their demand that qaddafi must leave libya as soon as possible. the two leaders also agreed to plan for possible responses,
including an arms embargo and a no-fly zone aimed at preventing qaddafi from bombarding civilians or rebels. at the same time, at the united nations, britain and france drafted a resolution calling for a no-fly zone. british foreign secretary william hague spoke in london. >> it has to have a clear legal basis, demonstrable need and strong international support and broad support in the region and a readiness to participate in it. clearly it is unacceptable that colonel qaddafi unleashes so much violence on his own people. >> ifill: the arab league has endorsed a no-fly zone, but russia, which has veto power at the security council, opposes the idea. >> brown: still to come on the newshour, the budget stalemate in the senate; family planning in guatemala; the debate over fees for debit cards; and a new book from david brooks. but first, the other news of the day. here's hari sreenivasan.
>> sreenivasan: there were more protests across the middle east today. police opened fire on protesters in yemen, injuring at least 50 of them. separately, thousands of inmates rioted at a prison in sanaa, demanding the president step down. in neighboring bahrain, three hardline shiite muslim groups announced they have formed a new movement to convert the sunni monarchy into a republic. and in egypt, coptic christians protested in cairo overnight. they held up crosses and waved egyptian flags, demanding an end to discrimination from the muslim majority. in pakistan, a car bomb killed 20 people today, and wounded more than 100. it happened in faisalabad, the third largest city in the country. the taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, and said the target was the main intelligence agency for pakistan, the i.s.i. the bomb was detonated by remote control, and destroyed a gas station and an airline office. a late-winter blast buried parts of the northeastern u.s. in more than two feet of snow. in upstate new york, residents had to shovel more than that-- nearly 30 inches in some places.
the wintry weather made for bad travel conditions, and caused at least one death in vermont. rainfall in southern new england melted some of the snow, but triggered major flooding. high waters cut off roads and neighborhoods, and turned some creeks into raging rapids. 20 more roman catholic priests were... were named as suspect in child molestation cases in a grand jury report released last month. the priests have been removed from their ministries while under investigation. the larger two-year inquiry has already resulted in charges against two current priests, a former priest and a catholic school teacher who are accused of raping young boys. a video released by conservative political activist james o'keefe today showed the top fundraising executive for national public radio criticizing republicans and calling the tea party "racist." ron schiller also said n.p.r. would be better off without long-run federal funding, at a time when some in congress have proposed cutting funds for public broadcasting. the comments were secretly
recorded at a lunch with schiller and two men claiming to represent a muslim philanthropic organization interested in donating to n.p.r. before the tape surfaced, schiller announced he was leaving n.p.r. a spokesman released a statement today saying the organization is "appalled" by schiller's comments. this afternoon, house majority leader eric cantor said, "this disturbing video makes clear that taxpayer dollars should no longer be appropriated to n.p.r." stocks on wall street ended higher today as oil prices eased slightly. the dow jones industrial average gained 124 points to close at 12,214. the nasdaq rose 20 points to close at 2765. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to gwen. >> ifill: the budget battle once again took center stage today in the senate, as lawmakers prepared for another round of head-to-head debate. >> the majority leader. >> ifill: senate democrats say a republican plan to slash government spending is a reckless numbers game. >> the republican plan, they want pushed through the senate, is all smoke and mirrors. it cuts the deficit in the
name of a stronger future but cuts the most important ways we strengthen our future. it's counterproductive. it's bad policy. it is going to cause america 700,000 jobs. this isn't some figure i just picked out of the air. >> ifill: senate republicans say it would be irresponsible to pass a budget bill to keep government running that doesn't drastically reduce spending. >> we're averaging about $4 billion a day in debt this year. and democrats want to cut $4.7 billion and call it a day. anything more they say is draconian. draconian. i'll tell you what's draconian. draconian is what happens if democrats don't get real about our nation's fiscal crisis. >> ifill: congress has until march 18 to come to agreement on a budget plan. but the two major parties have vastly different approaches. democrats propose reducing last year's spending levels by about $5 billion. while republicans support an alternative passed by the
house last month that would slash nearly 10 times that amount. $57 billion. the $50 billion gap is so wide that house republicans are already working on a back-up plan, an additional temporary extension that would contain billions in more cuts from the budget. democrats like john kerry said that idea is merely a delaying tactic. >> no wonder americans are frustrated, madam president. all we do is bounce from one short-term stop-gap solution band-aid approach to another. always defering. the tough decisions. and the adult conversation which is exactly what the american people sent us here to engage in. >> ifill: but republicans like bob corker said another stand- off looms because democrats are simply not willing to cut deeply enough. >> they're trying to solve this problem by only dealing with discretionary spending. makes no sense.
i mean, if you did away with all discretionary spending during this year, all discretionary spending including defense, you still would not have a balanced budget. >> ifill: critics on both sides of the aisle argue that the senate debate ignores the long-term problem. at a senate hearing today, the co-chairman of the president's fiscal commission challenged lawmakers to, among other things, tackled social security. former republican senator alan simpson. >> if you can't get social security solvent for 75 years and this congress cannot do that, you can forget everything. you will never get to medicare, medicaid and defense. >> ifill: former clinton chief of staff, a democrat. >> i niece cuts are politically difficult. but this is not a decision we can propose... postpone. we have got to act and we've got to act now. >> ifill: senators were expected to cast their first votes this week.
joining me now for a budget update is newshour political editor david chalian. tell me if i'm wrong but haven't we been here before. >> we were just here in some regard, you remember it was just a couple weeks ago that the congress passed that two- week extension where they did a little bit of the work. they cut $4 billion out of this year's budget and extended the funding of the government for a two-week period to allow for negotiation. what this is now all about is how do we get from here to september 30, the end of the fiscal year? there are only six months left. we're six months into this. this is not already solved. halfway there. we only have half the year to go. they have to figure out a way how to fund the government from now until then. >> ifill: feels like between the senate and the white house. >> within the senate what you're going to see tomorrow are two votes on these competing will bills. you have the house bill that cuts $61 billion from this year's funding and a senate bill cutting far less.
they're still about $52 billion apart. that's where the negotiations need to move and solve that gap, close that gap. but what harry reid wants to do, gwen, is he says we need to put versions up and have them fail so that everybody can see there's no choice but to negotiate, to get in the room. mostly talking to a reed advisor today on the hill, he really wants to do this for john boehner, the speaker of the house, because he wants john boehner to be able to go back to those 87 republican pressuremen, many of them tea party backed and say, guys, we took this bill as far as it can go. the senate will not pass it. it has failed. now we need to start compromising. that is what harry reid is trying to do here. >> ifill: we've also heard some republicans and now today some democrats saying where is the white house in all of this? where is the white house in all of this. >> they're involved. last week president obama appointed vice president biden to head up a meeting. it was last thursday up on capitol hill. bipartisan meeting.
bicameral meeting to try to.... >> ifill: vice president promptly left for finland. >> reporter: republicans made note of that. but the white house chief of staff bill daily, the budget director jack lou involved on a daily basis. bill daily was on the phone with eric cantor the house majority leader yesterday. eric captor pressing the white house asking what is your plan to close the $52 billion difference between the two sides right now? the pressure now is look to go the white house and the senate democrats to say the republicans have passed their plan in the house. it's not going to get much further. where is your plan that is a serious plan because the ones they have now really just extends the levels with a minor cut. everybody when you talk to democrats up on the hill say they're going to need to go further to meet the republicans somewhat along the way. >> ifill: we heard joe manchin the freshman senator from vest virginia. we've heard at least one other democrat raising questions about leadership. republicans all of a sudden talking a lot about presidential leadership. what is that about? >> i find this fascinating because normally you would
hear the republican talking point now. the president's budget raises taxes. tax-and-spend liberal. they're not. they're trying to chip away as what is a perceived strength of president obama's. people in polls say they like him personally if they question some of his policies. this is an attempt a year out from the re-election campaign for republicans to start chipping away at the obama leadership. calling this failed leadership that a budget is not passed yet. to them it gets at a character issue that may be far more beneficial to them politically than actually just sort of the usual policy differences. >> ifill: that's what republicans are doing. but what are democrats doing? >> joe manchin from west virginia, a very red state. he's up for re-election. barack obama is not going to win west virginia next year in 2012. >> ifill: claire mccaskill. >> he may not win missouri either. these are tough statements where the democrats from the red states need to start separating themselves a little bit from obama, the president who is going to be at the top of the ticket next year. they want to make sure they have a little bit of
independence from him. >> ifill: is the white house giving them a pass? >> i think they're giving them a pass right now. we'll see when the rubber hits the road and they need votes to get a budget passed. >> ifill: we expect votes tomorrow? >> we do. about 3:00 in the afternoon eastern time. >> ifill: okay. david chalian, thanks a lot. >> sure. >> brown: now the second >> brown: now, the second of ray suarez's global health reports from the central american nation of guatemala. tonight, ray looks at the many obstacles to family planning in that traditional society. >> suarez: every day evelyn travels the rugged countryside of guatemala's highlands teaching women about birth control. in a population where the fertility rate is the highest in latin america, it's a daupt task. evelyn works for women's international network for guatemalanian solutions.
not surprisingly the highest fertility rates are in the hardest to reach areas of the country. places reached mainly by boat, like the villages that surround this lake. >> i travel to very far-off places. i typically go to places several times over and over again. when i first come to a community, i am met with a lot of resistance, but i keep coming. >> suarez: here populations are overwhelmingly mayan and overwhelmingly religious. women typically have eight, nine, ten children. >> the culture and mind set here makes birth control very difficult to discuss. it's so embedded that the number of children is what god gives you. it's out of your hand. for most women this is a very new theme which breaks with their traditional cultural values.
>> suarez: on this day evelyn is greeted by a huge crowd of women. it's a scene that plays out again and again as evelyn travels throughout the region. most of the women here have no idea what birth control methods are available to them, much less how to obtain them. but they are experts on their own lives. when evelyn shows the crowd a picture of a pregnant woman with an infant on her back and a toddler in her hands, the reaction is immediate. they know women in that situation. some of them have lived it themselves. family planning isn't always a question of fewer pregnancies. better spaced childbirth is better for their health and their children. evelyn says they're brave just to show up. >> in these communities, it's the men who make the decisions about family planning. these women here, most do not have the support of their husbands. many times they come to me and
say their husbands will accuse them of sleeping around and being prostitutes if they use birth control. >> suarez: in fact, it's such a sensitive subject that evelyn's own safety is at risk. she requires women who ask for treatment or just for more information to sign a document proving they're voluntary participants. those who are ill literal provide fingerprints. >> i am catholic and mayan myself. i sing in my church choir, but i believe that giving a woman the ability to decide the number of children she wants is critical. it's vital for her health. >> suarez: the united states government seems to agree. the obama administration recently announced it wants to make family planning a top priority for global health funding. the administrator for u.s.-aid. >> family planning has been underinvested in. it's absolutely critical to the safety, security and
stability of many of the countries we work in around the world. there's so much data that shows us as total fertility rates go down in countries the health and welfare of children, families and frankly of the community overall goes up. >> suarez: health officials say family planning saves lifes. in the towns and villages strung along the shoreline, you'll find some of the western hemisphere's largest indigenous communities and the hemisphere's highest rates of maternal mortality death in childbirth. when you talk to women about their lives it's easy to understand why so many continue to risk early death with eight, nine, ten pregnancies. this child's mother died while giving birth to her 11th child. at the time the child was 19 years old and was given the responsibility of raising her seven younger siblings.
her now husband says the family was devastated. >> when maria their mother died, the family disintegrated and was torn apart. >> suarez: but even with this first-hand tragedy, the woman defers to her husband about any family planning. he refuses birth control interventions. >> we will follow god's will. we believe this is natural law. we have heard too many stories about birth control like injections and pills that cause cancer. >> suarez: stories about the dangers of birth control are often linked to religion where family planning methods such as monthly pills, tubal ligation and iuds have long been against church teachings. guatemala's archbishop. >> the problem is the kind of
birth control methods that are used like forcing families to sterilization for life. foreign governments should not insist on less children but on more education, more health services and work. >> suarez: for their part, health officials say family planning is one strategy to help turn around guatemala's dire health needs. years ago more children meant more hands to work the land. but generation after generation, farms are divided into smaller and smaller plots. there's less food to harvest. and with families comes more mouths to feed. nearly half the population of guatemala suffers from chronic malnutrition. >> if you look at guatemala, 46% of children are stunted. that means if you just put them against a wall and draw a line, they are on average significantly shorter than they should be for their age.
that is reflective of a certain type of chronic nutritional deficiency. >> suarez: at a small private hospital funded largely by international donations malnutrition is a common sight. this four-year-old weighs only 18 pounds, and she's lost one pound since august. the former secretary of nutrition for the previous guatemalaian government. >> mall nourished children have 12 points less of i.q., than a normal child. diminished mental capacities is a risk not only for economic development, health, et cetera, et cetera, but the vitality of our democracy. >> suarez: even if women want birth control, getting contraceptives to remote areas poses a logistical challenge. so mobile units are dispatched
by the guatemalaian family planning association. the group transforms local office space into operating rooms offering tubal ligations and slow release hormone implants. one of the gynecologists. >> we cover the whole country, but it's difficult. there is a huge demand. these are bad financial times in guatemala. it's hard for families who have many children. >> suarez: 43-year-old dora came with her daughter-in-law to the clinic. dora has a child the same age as her grandson, less than two years old. her 7th child. >> my body can't hold children anymore. i'm too weak. already i have headaches. my bones hurt. i'm worn out from housework. >> suarez: both grandmother and daughter-in-law receive gardel, the hormone implant in
the upper arm which acts much like birth control pills. >> my mother had 13 children. but times are harder now. everything is really expensive. and sometimes i'm in trouble because i have no money to feed my family. >> suarez: over 40% of guatemala's population is younger than 15. family planning advocates realize they must target the young. here in a community outside antigua, school aged children become voluntary peer educators, steering their classmates away from early parenthood. this program is also run by wings. jeannine simon the executive director of wings says schools are a platform for both genders. >> it's important for the kids to be comfortable talking about the topic amongst their peers of both sexes. this is a very machismo
society where the men and boys are brought up to believe that they have rights over the girls or the women. i think that helps alsof they're learning together and they can see the power that the girls have through their education and their intelligence and their wisdom. >> suarez: programs like these are likely to gain traction from the administration's global health initiative. but with strong opposition from congress on the overall levels of foreign aid and any future funding remains unclear. >> brown: we have much more about guatemala online. find ray's reporter's notebook, and a story about drug violence. >> ifill: next, a big battle is brewing on capitol hill between banks and retailers over debit card fees. billions of dollars are at stake, and consumers may be caught in the middle. judy woodruff has the story. >> woodruff: it was one of many elements of the financial regulation and reform law signed last summer that received much less attention at the time.
a provision directing the federal reserve to cap the so- called swipe fees that banks can charge merchants when customers use their debit cards. the dodd-frank as it's known requires the federal reto create a reasonable and proportional fee that could be charged. fed chairman ben bernanke and his colleagues must set those limits next month. they would take effect in july. in december, the fed proposed its plan. it would cap what banks could charge merchants at 12 cents per transaction. that would be a big cut from the average of 44 cents per transaction which led to a total of $16 billion in debit fees levied in 2009. under the law smaller banks with less than $10 billion in assets are already exempted. a fierce lobbying war is now underway on capitol hill.
banks are trying to delay or change the regulation saying they will not be able to meet their costs. but retailers say debit card issuers are earning too much profit. customers use their debit cards to complete nearly 38 billion transactions in 2009. we take a look at what is at stake in we take a look at what's at stake in this fight with two key players. nessa feddis is with the american bankers association. and mallory duncan is with the national retail federation. thank you both for being with us. >> thank you. >> woodruff: mallory duncan, let me start with you. speaking for retailers help us to simply understand what this is all about. customers come into a store. they have their debit card. they swipe it. some of the money that they are paying is this fee and it goes to the banks completely? >> yes, that's pretty much what happens. every time a customer uses a debit or a credit card, there is a swipe fee collected. and it amounts to about 2% of
the transactions, the face value of the transactions. consumers don't know it's being collected. it drives up the price of good. >> woodruff: you don't see out the receipt. >> that's correct. the merchants frankly don't know how much it is until they get their statement at the end of the month. >> woodruff: so what happens to this money? the banks get the money. what do they do with it? >> let's step back a bit. the interchange is basically the merchants' contribution to creating this very valuable available 24/7 reliable system. that's what how it started really with a merchant phenomenon. merchants and the businesses were getting tired of the losses from when their checks were returned. so they basically agreed to pay the fee and shift those losses and the risk of those losses back to the bank. that's what it amounts so... to. the fee covers the cost of providing this 24/7 available system. it's reliable. it's quick. it's secure. so it also... it not only helps maintain it but it helps
improve it. that means innovation. one of the great concerns here is that they don't have the money you won't see any more innovation. >> woodruff: we'll talk about that in a minute. mallory duncan, you don't want to see this fee lowered. why not? >> well, we actually would like to see. >> woodruff: i have it backwards. i'm sorry. you do want to see the fee even lower than it is now. why? >> the fee is very high right now. as your piece pointed out, it was $16 billion in 2009. it's approaching $20 billion a year now. these are hidden fees that consumers and merchants don't know they're paying until the end of the month. but what we'd like to see is competition. because the important thing that has not been talked about is the fact that these fees are set essentially at price- fixed fees. there are 7500 banks in the u.s., and they all charge exactly the same fee. that's not a competitive market. we'd like to see competition. >> woodruff: hearing that argument, the bank's position
is that the fee should not be lowered. why not? >> well, because the fee is, as i mentioned, it's used to support and improve a system that is just paying into it. with regard to the price controls, there are two major networks on the debit card. so there is competition. but as well as that the law and already and the rules already allow the merchants and the retailers a very... a tool that allows them to put pressure on the pricing. for example, they have the ability to offer discounts to customers. >> woodruff: when you say put pressure on the pricing, what do you mean? >> they can put pressure on the banks and the network because it's technically the networks that set the fees to put pressure to lower those fees. >> woodruff: without getting into all the details these are the electronic networks that actually perform this transaction. >> the two networks that... they're the switch, and they're the ones who make sure the transaction goes from the merchant to the network and
then to the bank that issued the card. and the merchants have the ability to put pressure on what the banks and the networks are charging by offering their customers a discount. so what that means is that the customer would pay less. we see this at gas stations where you get a discount for paying cash. the customer decides whether they want to pay extra money for the convenience of the card. what that means then because the networks don't make any money, the issuers don't make any money unless there's a transaction. if there's pressure to move customers to cash and checks, then that puts pressure on the banks and the networks to lower their interchange fees. >> woodruff: what is it? you're shaking your head. what's the response to that. >> you can't have competition if you're hiding the price from the people who are paying it. so consumers don't realize how much of this $20 billion they're paying so there can't really be competition. number one.
number 2. what little competition that there exists is not to lower prices but remember visa and master card are returning this money to the banks so they compete to say how much of merchants and consumers money can we get to deliver to bank-a or bank-b. so they're competing to raise the price. >> woodruff: your response to that? >> there are many merchants and businesses who have negotiated lower prices like the fast food restaurants and the grocerees. the other option is for restaurants and merchants simply not to.... >> woodruff: you're saying as it is it's a good deal for the retailers? >> it's a wonderful system. they get a lot of value out of it. there is a cost to paying for that value. and for that service. just as there is for any service. >> judy, it's a wonderful scheme. it's a price-fixed scheme. like i said we're trying to bring competition into this. the law will bring in competition.
>> they already have that with the existing rules, as i said, with the discount. >> woodruff: what about the argument that we hear that the banks-- no matter what happens with this fee, whether it goes down a lot or goes down even more, which is what the retailers would like-- but the banks are going to find a way to get the money that they need whether it's for profit or for other purposes. >> that's right. basic economic theory says for any business to be successful, revenue has to exceed expenses. and it costs about $250 to $300 to be able to provide checking account service. part of the revenue that supports the checking and debit card is of course the interchange fee. if the government comes in and eliminates one of those streams of income, the banks have to make it up somewhere. what the federal reserve has said, it's going to be made up by consumer fees. that will be either checking account fees or it will be
debit card fees or it will be elimination and service. so for example there might be limbs on the number of debit cards or the amount of the debit cards. >> woodruff: if that happens it that hurts the retail end, does it not? >> it would be helpful to have a little bit of history on this. >> woodruff: just a little. wem only have a minute-and-a-half left. >> a deb it card is nothing more than an a.m.t. card, and the atm cards were introduced because they saved banks the cost of processing checks and saved banks the cost of handling withdrawal slips so they actually initially were paying companies to install pin pads. so it's strange that they would say here's a device that's designed to save us money and we want you to pay extra for saving us money. >> that sounds like there's no cost involved. of course there's a cost. there's the cost of provide ago computer, an international services. we all have to pay for that. there is still a cost involved. >> woodruff: in the less than minute we have left what do you want consumers out there
listening to this debate and maybe still scratching their heads to figure out what's the right way to go on this? what would you say. >> i'd say consumers are on the verge of getting a great windfall. if this law goes intoy fact as planned. >> woodruff: and the fee is lowered. >> that will be a savings of a billion dollars a month. obviously the banks don't want to see a billion dollars a month returned to restaurants, retailers, and consumers. >> woodruff:nessa. >> it means that there will be pressure to increase on checking account fees and debit card account fees. as well as that it will chill innovation. the reason you can use your debit card online is because of the interchange fee that allows the investment to be able to shop online. what we see is there will be less innovation and it will mean that the new ideas, the new products will be coming from places outside the u.s.. >> woodruff: something for all consumers watching tonight to digest. thank you both very much.
>> brown: this is pledge week on public television. we'll be back shortly to talk to "new york times" columnist and newshour regular david brooks about his new book, "the social animal." this break allows your public television station to ask for your support. >> good eveningth thank you for watching the pbs newshour. i'm paul anthony here with marlin cooley. taking a brief intermission to invite you to become a contributor to weta. individual supporters are the backbone of this organization. your support provides weta with the ability to produce programs you value that in form, engage and entertain. so please consider making a financial contribution to weta and help keep the pbs newshour in your daily program schedule. >> the newshour has been one of pbs's flagship series for decades, weta particularly proud of because it's produced right here in the weta studios.
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reporting. this day and age, we see so many angles at other place, it's refreshing to see this. support the newshour. we thank you very much. >> brown: finally tonight, an age-old question: what makes us who we are? "new york times" columnist and newshour political commentator david brooks tackles something entirely different in his new book, "the social animal." i talked with david at his maryland home late last week. david brooks, hello in your own home. >> thank you, welcome. >> brown: for you this started with a practical problem, right? why are so many kids dropping out of school? that somehow led you to some real deep issues. >> yeah it's a completely irrational decision to drop out of school. why are so many kids behaving irrationally? why are you able to or unable
to get the problem solved. we have a very shallow view of human nature in the policy world. we are really good at talking about material things, really bad at talking about emotions. really good at stuff we can count. really bad at the deeper stuff that actually drives behavior. i'm stuck in this shallow world of policy. over here in the world of neuro science, psychology, sociology i see a much deeper world where they're really getting at the core issues of why we're doing what we do. i want to take their world and bring it into the my world. >> brown: it turned out the headline here is we've been wrong in a sense about who we are or what makes us who we are. >> we think we're divided. we think we have reason over here which is trust worthy and emotion over here which is sort of we're suspicious of. we're not divided. one of the things this world is finding that emotion is the basis of reason. we really have to trust our emotions which are much smarter in our reason. >> brown: we tend to think reason rules. >> that's wrong because our emotions tell us what to value.
they're like a little g.p.s. system. go that way. don't go that way. we don't have the choice to control our emotions. but we do have the power to educate our emotions. we do that through literature and art and music to give ourselves a repertoire of emotional sperns. if you choose to go to a college you're educating your emotions by who you surround yourself with. if you go to the marine corps, a different sort of education. simply because i'm saying it's unconscious and emotional that doesn't mean it's beyond our control. we have the choose to choose how to educate our emotions. >> brown: a dumb question. we don't know this because it's happening as an unconscious level. >> right. the brain or the human brain writes the autobiography at the conscious level. >> brown: we are thinking beings. >> all these things are happening at the low level of awareness. when we meet somebody, we are synchronizing our vocabularies right now, we're synchronizing our breathing. so when we make our marriage decisions, often it's on the
basis of things we're not even aware of, that people tend to marry people with similar noses, eyes similarly apart with complementary immune systems. >> brown: without ever making a conscious decision. >> it just feels right. that's true in politics by the way. we have this pretense that we make our political decisions on the basis of who has the right policies. that's not it. it's who do we feel comfortable with. who unconsciously do we commune with. >> brown: that means going with your gut. it means some part of your unconscious is actually working real hard. >> right. the question is do you know how to deal with it and train it? and so, for example, if you do something really cognitively demanding like buying furniture, it turns out buying furniture is one of the most difficult things we do. go into a furniture store and look at the sofa. >> brown: that doesn't surprise me. >> try to imagine what it's like in your living room that's very hard. what's difficult to do. what you should do is look at the sofa and marinate with it. you have to give your
unconscious mind time to process. think about it. study it. distract yourself. take a nap. go to sleep. think about it the next day. then go with your gut. >> brown: to tell your story you've created two character gses harold and erica, follow them from cradle to grave. >> right. >> brown: and look at their lives and their decisions through the research. why that device? >> i did it.... >> brown: really search but fictional characters. >> right. i did it for a couple reasons. one i wanted to show how the research played on nut sort of concrete situations. that i could put the characters in. second, i thought it was just more fun to read when you can see the flow of a life and the problems people face. and then finally, you know, when you write about the uncon shs and the conscious communicating, the conscious mind thinks in essay form and sort of logical argument. but the unconscious thinks in narrative form. so i wanted the book to match the subject matter. so stories are just more powerful. >> brown: for all the emphasis on the life, you admit you're
like most of us. you're not really in touch, fully in touch with your emotions. >> i'm not the most emotionally intune guy in the world. my wife said to me that writing about emotions is like gandhi writing about gluttony. this is where the research led me. it's not where my natural proclivities. having spent all these years with these researchers and reeteding this and thinking about it i'm not sure it's made me a perfect husband kind of guy. but it's made me more aware of shortcomings but mostly it's just given me a different viewpoint on myself and the world. because we inherit this view of what really matters. logic conscious thinking. once you become aware of all the many different levels of sort of intellectual traffic that are happening below, you suddenly see it everywhere around. you see it in yourself and in relationships. you don't focus as much on individuals. you focus on relationships. you don't focus as much on just pure reason and incentive, you focus in on perceptions and emotions. and you see the world in a
different way. >> brown: the book is the social animal. david brooks, nice to talk to you at your home. >> great to be with you here. >> ifill: again, the major developments of the day. fighting intensified in libya as president moammar qaddafi's forces attacked the opposition with rockets, tanks and warplanes. president obama and british prime minister david cameron reiterated their demand that qaddafi must leave libya as soon as possible. and the archdiocese of philadelphia suspended 21 roman catholic priests on charges they sexually abused minors. and to hari sreenivasan, for what's on the newshour online. hari? >> sreenivasan: on this 100th anniversary of international women's day, catch up on a live chat we hosted today about violence against women in the congo and beyond with filmmakers and humanitarian experts.
a new c.d.c. report sheds light on a so-called diabetes belt in the southeastern u.s. patchwork nation takes a look at which parts of the country are hardest hit by the disease. it's tools tuesday on paul solman's making sense page. find tips for locating cheap gas near your home. all that and more is on our web site, newshour.pbs.org. >> brown: and that's the newshour for tonight. on wednesday, we'll talk with former first lady laura bush, philanthropist melinda gates, and helene gayle, the head of care, about foreign aid programs aimed at women and children. i'm jeffrey brown. >> ifill: and i'm gwen ifill. we'll see you online, and again here tomorrow evening. thank you, and good night. major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> you can't manufacture pride, but pride builds great cars. and you'll find in the people at toyota, all across america. >> okay, listen. somebody has got to get serious.
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